Heritage Foundation Clings To Myths To Defend Bush Tax Cuts

June 23, 2011 2:25 pm ET — Walid Zafar

President George W. Bush

Over at the Heritage Foundation's Foundry blog, Mike Gonzalez, the think tank's resident Bush hagiographer, has written a highly misleading post defending lower tax rates for the very wealthy. "Liberals want to raise your taxes because they love big government," Gonzalez wrote. "They will tell you that lower tax rates accomplish nothing, but government spending will. Don't buy it."

The only thing not worth buying, however, is Gonzalez's nonsense.

As a former Bush administration official whose bio states that he "helped shape and explain financial and foreign policy from inside the second Bush administration," Gonzalez apparently thinks he's still responsible for spinning that administration's horrendous economic policies. The task was nearly impossible then and it certainly isn't possible now, given that we now know so much about what went wrong.

In defending the failed Bush tax cuts, Gonzalez claimed the conservative belief that tax cuts raise revenue was not an idea that was taken seriously among Bush officials. "The Bush administration and congressional leaders at the time went to great lengths to argue that the tax cuts would not pay for themselves," he said. But that's just false; President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and White House spokesman Ari Fleischer all publicly stated that tax cuts do raise revenue. Even the Heritage Foundation has made the inaccurate claim, stating in a 2001 report that as a result of the Bush tax cuts, "the national debt would effectively be paid off by FY 2010."

Now that's just embarrassing.

Gonzalez also claimed that Bush's economic policies led to sustained economic growth. Actually, the exact opposite is true. Bush's fiscal and regulatory policies resulted in the most economically anemic decade in recent history. As the Washington Post has noted, job growth during the past decade "was essentially zero." Even when if you let the Bush administration off the hook for the economic crisis that resulted from their willingness to look away at Wall Street's excesses and greed, the Bush years represented "the weakest economic cycle since February 1945."

Check out our fact check of Gonzalez's claims HERE.